The University of Southern California announced on Monday that they would offer all athletes in revenue-generating sports (football, men's and women's basketball). This is in lieu of the traditional renewable one year scholarship that athletes previously received.
USC AD Pat Haden: "In taking this action, USC hopes to help lead the effort to refocus on student-athlete welfare on and off the field."— (@USC_Athletics) June 23, 2014
The scholarship is guaranteed as long as the players preform well academically, not athletically. A player could be removed from the team for poor performance but would not lose their scholarship. This is huge news in the wake of the UNC scandal that called attention to the lack of emphasis on a college education for "student" athletes.
Pitt should follow suit and offer its athletes four year scholarships. It is a great publicity move, one that could help start the trend. It would also be a sign of respect towards the athlete and could even potentially help the Panthers gain a minor and temporary edge in recruitment.
Following USC's announcement, five-star cornerback recruit Iman Marshall tweeted:
USC is now offering four year scholarships to all student athletes in lieu of one year renewable scholarships, #GAMECHANGER!— Biggie (@iman_marshall8) June 23, 2014
Recognize Whats Real.... Athletes Need their security ✊— Biggie (@iman_marshall8) June 23, 2014
One has to think that this could be mandated by the NCAA sooner rather than later. There is nothing bad that can come out of Pitt helping start that trend. As a university that often boasts the academic success of their student athletes, this is a logical step for the Panthers. Look for more schools to join the news this summer and I expect that Pitt will not be too far behind on this one.
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